I ran the London Marathon!
Last week, I – and about 38,000 other people – ran 26.2 miles across east London, and now I am still feeling very sore and sorry for myself… The knee pain is real.
I ran the marathon for a charity really close to my heart, MyAware, which helps people with Myasthenia Gravis. Although it was really tough to train and took a lot of pain and time (I’ve never really been a very good runner), I’m so glad I managed to complete it, and the feeling of seeing the finish line was something I’ll never forget.
The whole experience was incredible, and I’m currently going through a bit of the “post-race blues”, not really knowing what to do with my weekends now I don’t have to go on long runs, so I thought I’d write down some of the things I learnt from training in the hopes that if you’re thinking of running a long-distance race for the first time I can impart some of my knowledge.
The ballot for next year’s marathon is open, so why not enter? Good luck!
Here are some tips for training and the race from a first-time runner!
- Actually train. When I first ran a half-marathon, life got in the way of training a little and I didn’t do nearly as much as I should have, and it was super painful. For the actual marathon I made sure to prioritise training even though I had a lot going on, which does mean making sacrifices… But hopefully it will be worth it in the end.
- The race day itself is really fun, but it goes by so fast, so make sure to savour every moment of it – and definitely get your mates to come along and watch!
- Make a running playlist – I made one on Spotify that you can use if you need inspiration (it’s full of ridiculous pop-punk and emo songs, but it does the trick!)
- If you’ve never run before, don’t be intimidated too much by the distance. Training from no miles to three miles was SO much harder than training from ten miles to twenty. Starting is the worst and most horrible part, and it gets so much easier as you go along.
- Run in a club, or not, whatever works for you. I hate running with people as I’m tempted to talk loads, which gets you really out of breath, so I always run solo.
- Body Glide. Seriously.
- It’s a good idea to give up drinking for a while before the race, and smoking. I made up for not drinking by eating ten times more than usual.
- Don’t punish yourself; if you’re injured, take a break. Make sure to eat and drink enough, and ALWAYS take enough rest days. It feels like the race is really important when you’re training for it, but nothing’s worth sacrificing your health.
- Buy some skinny jeans. Seriously, with all the training that goes into the marathon, your bum is never going to look better… Show it off.
- Have fun and enjoy it! It’s such a strange and awesome thing to do, so have a good time with it.
Good luck to everyone applying for a place next year and I hope your training goes brilliantly!
Lots of love, Emily x
You can still sponsor my race, and donate to MyAware by clicking here.